“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 14 This week’s Memory Verse
What is the Trinity? You won't understand this ….. but you're in good company, because no-one does!
The Trinity defined God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit are three very distinct persons, yet there is only one God.
The Trinity isn't biblical ….. or is it? The term “trinity” isn’t found anywhere in the Bible. It was invented to describe something that the Bible does, clearly, teach. –‘Us’ not ‘me’ – Genesis 1:26 – and ‘our image’ – yet all God – Genesis 1:27, Genesis 1:1. –Three persons, individual from each other at Christ’s baptism – Matthew 3:16-17. Each person is of the same standing (all treated as equally God) Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Jude 20-21. God said, ‘Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness …… As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
3 distinct persons Not different names for the same person (not like “HM Queen”, “E. Windsor”, “Mrs Mountbatten”). –The Father and the Son are distinct – John 17:24 –The Father and the Holy Spirit are distinct – John 14:26 –The Son and the Holy Spirit are distinct – John 16:7 Each is a person, not a power or a concept –the Holy Spirit is “he” (John 14:26) not “it” & he can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30) –God the Father thinks (Amos 4:13), speaks (Hebrews 5:5) and expresses delight (Isaiah 62:5) –We’ll find out more about the person of Christ next week Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth – the Lord God Almighty is his name. As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, So will your God rejoice over you.
Each person is fully God The Father is God –John 6:27; John 20:17 The Son (Jesus Christ) is God –compare Exodus 3:14 with Mark 14:62; –1 Corinthians 8:6; Titus 2:13; Titus 3:4. The Holy Spirit is God –Acts 5:3-4 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval. Jesus said, … ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am’. / The high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ … ‘I am,’ said Jesus. There is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. We wait for …… our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Peter said, ‘Ananias, how is it that … you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received? … What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.’
The Lord our God, the Lord is one. One God, not 3 Though there are 3 persons, there is only one God –Deuteronomy 6:4 –Isaiah 45:5 –1 Timothy 2:5 –Mark 12:29 There is one God I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. The most important [commandment],’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one”’.
Each person in the Trinity has distinct roles The Father sent his Son – John 3:16-17. The Son (Jesus Christ) is an obedient Son and does the will of the Father – John 6:38. The Holy Spirit is sent by God to teach and counsel the followers of God – John 14:6 & 16:7. Thus they co-operate perfectly! e.g. in creation –God (the Father) “spoke” (Genesis 1:9-10) –God the Son “made” everything (John 1:3) –God the Holy Spirit “hovered”, supervising the creation and revealng God in creation (Genesis 1:2). I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.
Sam Allberry says …. “Understanding the Trinity helps us make sense of so much of what we hold dear: friendship, marriage, church, love, service, identity. Things that are precious to us, but which we are not always able to properly account for, find new significance when examined in the light of the Trinity. Things we cherish about God - his love and integrity, the coherence of his Word, the nearness of his presence, and, above all, his matchless love poured out for us through the death of Christ - all these can only make real sense when we discover that God is, in fact, Trinity” in “Connected” (IVP, 2012)
We are heirs of God Almighty, apple of the Father’s eye; free, forgiven, loved, accepted, clothed in righteousness divine. Chosen to be pure and blameless from before the world began; grace for every situation, sheltered in the Father’s hand.
We have Christ at work within us, shaping us to be like Him; resurrection power sustaining freedom from the snares of sin. Saying no to flesh desires, saying yes to righteous ways; filled with passion and with power, lights that burn in darkened days.
Question Time ! 1.What do you find helpful in trying to understand the Trinity? 2.Why is it important that Christians are Trinitarian? 3.What does Matthew Chapter 3 verses 16-17 show us about the Trinity? 4.We are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). How do we (and how should we) see the image of the Trinity appearing in our human relationships (Marriage, family, church)? 5.What does it mean to honour God as Trinity?
Prayer Time ! 1.Praise God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 2.Thank God for all the roles that each person of the Trinity performs. 3.Pray for the Unity of the Church as modelled by the Trinity. 4.Pray for those who have responsibility for teaching the Christian Faith. 5.Pray for other matters that come up from the discussion.
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 14 Memory Verse
Take Home! Which person of the Trinity would you most want to hear your prayer / your praise / your thanks / your confession? Is any person of the Trinity under-represented in your thoughts? What prayers could you, especially, ask him? What thanks or praise could you especially offer him? What confession could you, especially, make to him? When you come to God in prayer this week, pause for a moment ……
Facts for Faithful Followers Next time …… …… The Lord Jesus Christ